Cindy Smith  


Oppenheimer's Private Space by Cindy Smith

July 2021 - Oppenheimer's Private Space

About the Image(s)

This tree is in the yard of Robert Oppenheimer’s residence in Los Alamos, NM, where the Manhattan project took place.

I thought the shadows were very interesting.

Taken with Canon EOS R with Canon 24-105mm/F4.0 1/640 ISO320 in RAW. Upped contrast and de-haze slightly.


19 comments posted




Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
Cindy: So good to have you in our group. I always look forward to seeing your posts. You have chosen an interesting, but challenging subject. If you took this photo while touring, which I assume is the case, then you may not have been able to select the best photography time of day to be there. The mid-day sun produced a very high contrast scene. Note the dark shadows covering the part of the house behind and to the right of the tree. Note also the "blown out" sun lit grass and very bright areas of the roof. If you had the option of time of day (which I doubt,) early morning or late afternoon would help with these problems. Even with your restricted ability to pick a better time of day, the intensity of the identified problems can be lessened in a good image processing program like Lightroom Classic.
I think you did well with the situation you had. Investigate the possibility of dealing with some of the issues in Post Processing.   Posted: 07/03/2021 08:39:48



Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
Cindy: I keep being drawn back to this image. It is very engaging. The shadow pattern from the trees are very interesting, and I no longer am troubled by the darkness of the shadows on the part of the house behind, and to the right of the main tree. This leaves only the bright grass area and perhaps the bright roof as a concern. You might try some creative cropping. Perhaps crop up from the bottom to remove some of the grass, and in from the left to remove part of the brightness there. The rest could be darkened some in LrC using either the Graduated filter and/or the Adjustment brush. Other editing programs will probably have similar tools.
I do look forward to seeing your future posts.   Posted: 07/03/2021 11:07:59



Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
Chan, Thank you for your comments. No, I didn't have a lot of choices about the time for the pictures, and I was using that particular image because of the "shadow" round from last month. I was really attracted to the shadows of the tree, but I also think I should crop out the blown out parts of the foreground, or do something else with it. I do use LRC, but I am not proficient. I have limited skills with it--still "much to learn, Grasshopper!"   Posted: 07/03/2021 13:27:23
Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
Keep up the good work.   Posted: 07/03/2021 14:10:28



Steven Jungerwirth   Steven Jungerwirth
Cindy: I like this image . . . older home overshadowed by a massive tree!

One of the greatest minds in particle physics . . . lived in a natural/humble environment.

Regarding exposure - agree that there isn't much you can do about the light when traveling (it is what it is when you get there!). One thing I learned recently is to shoot such images few stops darker . . . since modern cameras are much better at recovering detail in the shadows than they are at recovering blown out highlights. Expose in manual and use the histogram to make sure nothing is blown out (the LCD panel on a sunny day is pretty useless!). I tried this recently at a sunrise shoot . . . and it really helped! The metered exposure would have totally blown out the sun and it's reflection on water . . .   Posted: 07/04/2021 11:18:09



Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
This Edited Version by Cindy per Chan's suggestion: as a reminder, additional (edited or other) photos can be posted by group participants via Comment Box.   Posted: 07/04/2021 12:56:19
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Cindy, I agree with the others, a different crop may work better here to highlight the tree shadow: Chan's version that is posted is surely one example and (I attached a Square Cropped version) for another way to present the work. The shadow is very engaging and artistic, and appreciate your eye in seeing and capturing this, but there is more to discuss here....

"Points to Ponder"
At the time of capture, and unless you are trying to capture local vernacular (or even documentary) (as opposed to an artistic rendering), artifacts like the chair need to be moved before composing the scene. The other item I will mention is using the particular camera dynamics metadata reveal: why did you dial in a high ISO, but only used F/4? Was the camera set on Auto ISO?

I'm questioning this because there are reasons to do this, and other reasons not to...let the discussion continue... :)
  Posted: 07/05/2021 07:14:34
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Oddly enough...the tree and shadow resemble an "A" Bomb mushroom!   Posted: 07/05/2021 07:15:42
Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
I also had not made the connection between the "A" bomb and the shadow! Great observation!   Posted: 07/05/2021 19:10:10
Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
Lance, The camera was not set on auto ISO, at least I do not think it was. I had been shooting through the window of the house, which was dark, and I needed the higher ISO-the 4.0n lens aperture is maximum. As we were walking away, I noticed the shadow of the tree, and, because we were in a hurry (my husband and dog were waiting), I went with what I had. I really had not noticed the chair, but I would most likely not have moved it, as I am hesitant to move things in these types of locations. I need to be more aware of these issues moving forward, and I do appreciate the constructive criticism. I am learning a lot.   Posted: 07/05/2021 19:08:06



Jennifer Marano   Jennifer Marano
Hi Cindy,

Such a humble house for such a great mind! I really like the shadow and the historical aspect of the image. I didn't notice the A-bomb similarity until I saw it mentioned in comments by others.

This is a perfect image to practice using Lightroom! Just playing with all the different sliders in the basic panel will teach you a lot. And there are tons of tutorials on YouTube at every level. There is always more to learn, as I well know. Photography keep challenging our minds, and that is good!   Posted: 07/11/2021 19:20:25



Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
Thank you, Jennifer. I do use LR, but I'm a real novice. I will work on using the sliders, and check out results.   Posted: 07/11/2021 20:10:59



Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
Thank you, Jennifer. I do use LR, but I'm a real novice. I will work on using the sliders, and check out results.   Posted: 07/12/2021 18:59:41



Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
Thank you, Jennifer. I do use LR, but I'm a real novice. I will work on using the sliders, and check out results.   Posted: 07/13/2021 05:01:14



Dale Yates   Dale Yates
Cindy, my apologies for the late reply. Nice image, I like the historical significance. I agree with the comments by others on trying a different crop to eliminate some of the bright portions. The shadows are very interesting and add to the intrigue of the image. Nice work!   Posted: 07/26/2021 18:07:56



Bev Caine   Bev Caine
(Groups 48 & 80)
This image is very interesting in the history itself, as well as being a nice image on its own. I created a non-destructive layer mask and made some toning and highlight adjustments as well as removing the chair. I wonder what you think of the result.   Posted: 07/29/2021 10:22:39
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Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
Bev, it is very nice. Thank you. I want to learn more about all the masking and editing.   Posted: 07/29/2021 10:52:18
Bev Caine   Bev Caine
(Groups 48 & 80)
If you need help on anything, I'm not an expert but will be more than happy to help you out. Just email me at bevandstu@gmail.com   Posted: 07/29/2021 11:02:35
Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
Thank you, Bev. I appreciate it.   Posted: 07/29/2021 12:06:51



 

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